The Uganda Society Newsletter, No. 4, 1998

The Uganda Society Newsletter, No. 4, 1998

Uganda Society Newsletter


September 1998


This newsletter features brief reviews of recent lectures. Our lecture schedule this year has been more varied than ever. We have featured everything from art and poetry to agriculture and zoology, all based on research conducted in and around Uganda, by Ugandan experts as well as non-Ugandan scientists and scholars doing research here.

Are you doing research we might be interested in? Do you know anyone who is? We are always looking for lecture ideas.....bring yours along to the next lecture!

If you have any thoughts on activities for the Society, or if you are interested in becoming active, please contact us. We're always looking for people with ideas and energy to contribute to the Society.


Our September lecture will be held on the 24th. It is entitled

Increasing Food Security in Uganda through Extension Services Emphasizing Women and Traditional Food Crops

and will be run as a workshop by Emily Dyck.

Join us at the museum at 5:30 p.m. and save a few minutes afterward to enjoy a soda or a beer and discuss what you've heard.

Remember, we hold a lecture every month on the fourth Thursday.


In our July lecture, Professor Timothy Wangusa brought poetry to life for a large and enthusiastic audience. Titled "From Henry Barlow to Susan Kiguli: A review of Ugandan Poetry with citations," the lecture featured poetry from both authors as well as the lecturer himself, grounded in time and space by Prof. Wangusa's comments. Prof. Wangusa covered the time frame from Uganda's independence to today using poems from Henry Barlow to represent Ugandan poetry from the 1960's, poems of his own from the 70's and 80's, and poems from recently published Susan Kiguli to represent the 1990's. Both Henry Barlow and Susan Kiguli joined us and read their own poetry, as well as commenting on poetry in their lives and in relation to Uganda. Both have written poems called "Uganda" which we heard from them; two poems from different times, expressing different kinds of love for Uganda and passionate cries for her future. Truly, the poetry presented to us that night fulfilled all Prof. Wangusa's descriptions of the phenomenon: compact and economical; expressing feelings, thoughts and ideas in colorful words; a profound evocation of feeling with the simplest words; on the verge of breaking into song.


Dr. Alex Tindimubona and Dr. Dezi Ngambeki brought us "Sustainable Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resource Management in a Fragile Mountain Ecosystem" for our August lecture. They focused on their research on farming in a community in south-western Uganda, and brought us in contact with their study group through their descriptions of the people in the area. We learned how they farm, what they know about sustaining production in their area and what they don't know, and how they learn about farming. We learned that most of the farmers learned about problems and solutions in their area from friends, neighbors and local councils, and very few had contact with government or NGO experts or with extension agents. The speakers discussed solutions to the low yields, especially the breakdown of terracing in the region. Because of their concentration on the people in the area and their problems, Drs. Tindimubona and Ngambeki brought their research to us in a way that helped us understand the farmers and their special problems in that area.


Work begins shortly on volume 45 of the Uganda Journal. Anyone with ideas for articles or notes should contact the Hon. Editor, Mr. Dent Ocaya-Lakidi at 531-499 or the assistant editor, Sheena Carey at 267-080. The Journal is also seeking funding to help support the cost of printing. If you have ideas for fund raising, please let us know.


Have you ever wondered what Sir Winston Churchill really said about Uganda? Come read his book, published in 1908, which includes photos he took while exploring East Africa. Are you interested in Ugandan arts and crafts, or teaching of art in Uganda? We have several of Margaret Trowell's fascinating books describing her life in art in Uganda, and exploring arts and crafts in Uganda and all over Africa. Curious about what the early explorers like Speke, Burton, Grant and Stanley found? We have their books and books by some of the people who accompanied them. How about birds, grasses and butterflies? We have books full of gorgeous plates of birds, several volumes on grasses, and a real butterfly collection. There is a map collection as well, with maps covering the entire country. Best of all, we have an almost complete collection of Uganda Journals which provide an amazing array of writings on and about every facet of the country.

Come join us for a morning to read or to do research. If you haven't visited us, we have a comfortable reading room with arm chairs as well as tables for serious work. In addition to our nearly 1800 titles, we have a periodical section and we house the library of the East African Wildlife Society. Visit us during our regular hours, or before a lecture.


We have recently received a copy of Volume 2 of the Uganda Journal (from 1934), and have located a copy of volumes 1 and 3. We are still trying to locate copies of Volumes 6 and 7. If anyone has any knowledge of a possible source for these volumes, please let us know.


* Roger Fouts, "Next of Kin: What chimpanzees have taught me about who we are." Read this book and you'll never think about chimpanzees the same way again!

* Prof. Rowe of Northwestern University in the USA has donated Volume 2 of the Uganda Journal, which arrived recently.

* Volumes 1-3 of the Journal are on their way from Australia, courtesy of Peter Wilkins. He received them from J.D. Gotch, who was a District Commissioner in Uganda from 1939-61. Mr. Wilkins knew him from the time he spent in the Uganda Police (1952-65).



The Food & Drink Association of Uganda meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lion Bar & Restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel. Meetings are open to anyone interested in Ugandan food and drink. These are programs from their schedule for the remainder of the year:

6 Oct:--The Ugandan food exhibition

3 Nov:--Groundnut recipes, pickling fish and Ugandan food exports review

8 Dec:--Christmas spirits, Guinness and Christmas puddings, the Ugandan cracker


The recent demolition of the Khan Bhuvan building (see the Uganda Journal Vol. 42 for photos of the building as it once stood) is the sort of activity the HBGC is hoping to prevent through educating the public via the KCC. The building was a listed house and featured five classical porches. It was demolished to make way for a new development and was apparently demolished without planning permission.

The HBGC meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the National Museum. The group has identified a number of buildings that warrant conservation. They are working with Kampala City Council to increase awareness of Kampala's most interesting and worthwhile buildings as well as to increase compliance with basic planning laws. Come join the group and help preserve the fine buildings that give Kampala its special character.


Friends of the Uganda National Museum (FUNMA) presents another Uganda Pearl of Africa course to be held at the Museum from the 12th of October through the 22nd of October. The course will consist of two weeks of lectures, videos and slide presentations designed to educate visitors and residents on the fascinating cultural and natural history of Uganda. The proceeds will go towards supporting the Uganda Museum's cultural and educational programs and refurbishing and expanding existing facilities and displays. The lecturers are resident experts who are donating their time and experiences free of charge. Included in the program are a picnic at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center on Saturday, 17th October, and a dinner featuring food and music of Uganda at the Lion Bar on Thursday, 22nd October. These two events are open to the all, whether you are attending the course or not. You can pick up a full schedule of the course at the library.

If last year's course is representative of this event, it is something not to be missed. Many new lectures will be offered by new and returning lecturers, including our own Prof. Pinycwa. Prices for the entire course are 30,000/= for non-members of FUNMA, 25,000/= for members, 20,000/= for persons involved in tourism, and 10,000/= for students. Day passes for individual mornings can be purchased for 6,000/= per day for regular passes, 4,000/= per day for tourism participants and 2,000/= per day for students. The evening event at the Lion Bar will cost 15,000/=; buy tickets or make reservations in advance, please.

Tickets for the full course, individual days and the evening event at the Lion Bar are now being sold at our library (see Library Hours for times and days).


September 17, 6:30 p.m.: a lecture by Rose Mwanja, Uganda National Museums' Education Officer on Traditional Dress in Uganda

October 22: a grand finale to the UPAC course but open to all: An evening of Uganda's best food and music at the Lion Bar (Sheraton)

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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